How Much Does a UK Pension Transfer Cost?

Cost is an important aspect of any financial planning decision. When it comes to UK Pension Transfers, your Financial Adviser should always be transparent about the total net costs based on Pension transfer rules from the beginning of your conversations.

We would always strongly recommend asking to have your total initial and ongoing pension transfer costs confirmed in writing before proceeding with any pension transfer. Otherwise, you risk wasting a substantial amount of time and energy beginning a Pension Transfer advice process (Final Salary, Defined Benefit, or DC) only to discover hidden costs, commissions, or exit penalties further down the line. 

Many clients we speak with tell a familiar tale. They had been working with an IFA for up to 3-months completing all the necessary forms and paperwork, and it was only in the final round of forms that required their signature that the full costs were finally outlined.

The below is a recent example of answers from our CEO, Dominic James Murray, to a client’s questions regarding initial costs.

How do I Know If Your Initial Advice Fee is a Good Value?

“Professional service fees are a pain. As CEO, I get that more than anyone. I do not enjoy paying lawyers, accountants etc, but when I need a job done professionally it is the best option if the task is important.

I would suggest you complete a full market comparison to get a better feel for our costs, and whether they are reasonable or not. For reference, I sit on the pension transfer committee at the Financial Times and Cameron James is consistently cheaper than the majority of the market and is actually one of the cost leaders.

Kindly see our latest commentary for the Financial Times regarding the rising costs for clients: DB transfer fees have reached ‘record high’, warns XPS

Our initial fees of 3% for portfolios under £250K are fair and reasonable when you consider the fact that we only work on clean share classes (no extra commissions) and have no lock-in or exit fee attached to any of the products we use. This is unlike the majority of the IFA market in Europe or worldwide, who do not follow FCA rules on treating customers fairly (TCF).

They will charge you a hidden commission of up to 8%, and the bond wrapper will then lock you in for up to 8-10 years to recuperate the initial commission paid out.


We see this time and time again. Around 30% of our new enquiries each month are from existing expatriates who have previously taken out commission-based advice, and are now extremely unhappy with the level of service.

The biggest complaint is that their IFA no longer contacts them (because they’ve already been paid their commission up front in one go) and as such the growth of the pension has dramatically suffered because the IFA has not been managing it well or paying attention.

We also have no interest in trying to push in-house model portfolios, so we can earn more commission, which is called ‘double bubble’ in the industry. Our portfolio advice is a low-cost blended portfolio with active and passive from the world’s largest fund houses, with no extra kickbacks or trail to us. Again, unlike 80% of the market.”

Should I Compare Costs when Completing a UK Pension Transfers?

Yes, I would encourage you to shop around and compare us to the competition. I think you’ll probably find, as most of our clients do, that after doing that we are a very sharp outfit and far more transparent in my professional opinion than most IFA firms in this industry.

This can be a valuable process as it helps affirm why you are working with Cameron James, which can help you start to better understand the value of our fees and transparent charging schedule.”

Is it Possible to Speak with any of your Existing Clients as a Reference?

“I would be happy for you to contact some of my existing clients who have already completed their pension transfers with us and have been working with us for some period of time.

I can also confirm that our existing clients do not look back and question our costs. In fact, the majority of them go on to refer us to a number of their friends and colleagues, as the underlying growth we achieve for our clients is excellent.

Additionally, once you have reached the end of your pension transfer process (which can take some months) I think you will see the sheer amount of work and people hours that are required to get these transfers complete. It is not a case of just ‘signing one form’.

UK Pension Transfer Costs at Cameron James

As you can see, we are very open and transparent about costs at Cameron James. We deliver clients with a high-quality service and think they should always know exactly how much they are paying, in a simple and easy-to-understand format.

Want to discuss the costs of your pension transfer? Click the Calendly button below to schedule a Free Initial Appointment with Dominic or one of our IFAs to learn more about your situation and how we can help.

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